English Teachers’ Attitude towards Professional Development in Kuwait

Maisoun Alzankawi

Abstract


Teacher professional development is a life-long and continuous process in which teachers are expected to upgrade their knowledge, master new skills, and change their practices since advancement in their teaching career is finally for their students and education reform. Besides, teachers and their professional development must be seen as an investment. This study is designed to investigate the English teachers’ attitude towards professional development in Kuwait and the problems encountered by those teachers, and their need for professional development programs. It intends to devise innovative approaches for English teacher’s development in Kuwait based on teachers’ requirements to provide those teachers with all they need to overcome the obstacles they face in their professional lives. It will also assess teachers’ preferences of the pedagogical tools that enable them to convey the instructional material. The participants in this study were 20 experienced in-service English teachers who were chosen randomly from three different institutes at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) in Kuwait. Data were gathered from two main sources: Interviews with in-service teachers of English, and questionnaires. Specifically, the study aimed to address questions related to the teachers’ future development and the possible problems facing them or expects that might face them in the future, and their feedback about the challenges and difficulties of teaching English in Kuwait. The findings revealed a lack of teachers’ development in some particular areas that need more skill development of English teachers. Intensive training courses should be applied for the in-service teachers, and professional development programs should promote and enhance teaching effectiveness and support professional growth. Teachers’ professional development should permit the transition to higher status and responsibility roles within the teaching profession. Therefore, teachers need access to new research and acknowledgment in teaching literacy, language development, and an integrated curriculum. Moreover, they need appropriate up-to-date qualifications in both the content area of the subject and teaching methodology. They also need opportunities to share expertise with other experienced teachers and educators, leading to reflection on practice. Furthermore, high-quality teaching should be focused on developing a strong, well informed, and well supported professional body to respond to community and educational concerns. Also, access to professional development is of paramount importance as it enables teachers to improve students’ learning outcomes. Finally, English teachers can actively participate in evaluating teaching practices and programs; and actively participate in the implementation of local state and national curriculum initiatives. 


Keywords


Professional Development, In-service Teachers, Training Courses, Skills, Curriculum, Evaluation, Teacher Development, Experience

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.10n.2p.18

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